A group of technology companies have come together to create a system to handle the vagaries of colour in the digital world for the non-professional. Kodak, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and Live Picture have created a system called FlashPix that they hope will become a standard in the industry. According to Albert Chan, general manager of digital and applied imaging for Greater China at Kodak, the technology will be freely available to all developers. 'With the technology of the new architecture and the combined efforts of these leading companies, we are striving to realise a long-term industry goal, to make working with photographic-quality images on computers - and sharing them across the Internet and other networks - as easy and practical as working with text,' Mr Chan said. There are a number of highly technical problems associated with the correct handling of digital images. One is the complex issue of 'colour space', the fact that colour as understood by a computer monitor and colour as used by an output device are quite different. There is also the problem of how the image is put into the computer in the first place. Today it can be scanned or downloaded through a digital camera. Kodak and its partners hope that FlashPix will be able to solve these problems and, with the help of the functional interpolating transformation system technology of Live Picture, allow everyone to easily produce expert photos.